The Marlins are one of the most schizophrenic teams in professional sports. They constantly go from trying to ‘win it all’ to ‘full-blown rebuilding mode’. I’m not sure which side of the spectrum they are now since they did give Giancarlo Stanton a huge payday last season, but hasn’t spent a dime since on anyone that can help them win now.
Miami will benefit from being in one of the most mediocre divisions. The Nationals and Mets will run away with the division with the Phillies and Braves solidly holding camp in the basement. Miami will cut their teeth with some very winnable division games.
Will Miami make some moves this season by trading Stanton or Fernandez at the trade deadline?
Here is the 2016 MLB season preview for the Miami Marlins.
2015 Win/Loss Record: 71-91
Key Additions: SP Wei-Yin Chen, SP Edwin Jackson, 3B Chris Johnson, RP Craig Breslow, 3B Don Kelly, OF Justin Maxwell & SP Dustin McGowan
Key Losses: SP Henderson Alvarez & 2B Donovan Solano
Interleague Schedule: AL Central
Projected Starters: J.T. Realmuto, Justin Bour, Dee Gordon, Martin Prado, Adeiny Hechavarria, Christian Yelich, Marcell Ozuna & Giancarlo Stanton
Projected Starting Rotation: Jose Fernandez, Wei-Yin Chen, Jarred Cosart, Tom Koehler & Edwin Jackson
Closer: A.J. Ramos
Fantasy Sleeper: 1B Justin Bour – Bour is currently the 21st-ranked fantasy first baseman on ESPN. I actually think he’s higher than that since there is still some upside to him. He has some power, hits for an average that doesn’t kill you and will drive in 80+ RBI. He’s a guy you can steal late in the draft and it will help round out your roster.
Prospect To Keep Your Eye On: SP Kendry Flores – The Marlins don’t have any blue chip prospects ready for the Majors right now, but Flores is worth keeping an eye on. He had a cup of coffee with the Marlins last season as a reliever with limited success. He has done well in Double-A and Triple-A as a starter. Flores could be the solution if Edwin Jackson doesn’t pan out as the team’s fifth starter.
Team Analysis: Don Mattingly took over as manager of the Marlins this offseason and hit the team with a no facial hair rule. I’m not sure if Mattingly learned much from his tenure with the Dodgers. He sounds like a bummer of a manager, especially on a young team. Mattingly had a mix of youth and veterans on the Dodgers and this Marlins team is filled with mostly young guys (with Ichico being the exeption). I understand that he’s there to build a winner out of a young team, but it’s a bit of a buzzkill.
I think this Marlins team has some talent on it. Dee Gordon and Giancarlo Stanton are All-Star level hitters and players like Christian Yelich are getting close. Also, Miami will get a full year out of ace Jose Fernendez. He looked great coming back from Tommy John last year. I wonder how much longer Miami will keep him around, since a trade package for him would be stacked.
Miami will finish in the middle-of-the-pack in the NL East. The Braves and Phillies will be god awful, so the Marlins will get a handful of very winnable games against them. The Marlins aren’t on the same level as the Nationals or Mets, so they will slot into 3rd place in the NL East by a good margin.
2016 Wins Over/Under Betting Line: 79 (Prediction: OVER)
2016 Projected Win/Loss Record: 82-80 (3rd in NL East)
Bobby Roberts (otherwise known as Sweetbob) is the creator of ‘America’s White Boy’ and contributor at Project Shanks. His writing has been featured on ESPN’s ‘SportsNation’, Sports Illustrated’s Hot Clicks, Guyspeed, and various other sites. You can follow him on Twitter at @Sweetbob.